A collaborative approach to creating community environments through landscape architecture
Throughout his personal and professional life, Ramon Murray has cited collaboration as a vital reason for his success in the field of landscape architecture. Murray, founder of Murray Design Group, Inc. near Orlando, Florida, credits his education in the MLA program at SEAS for establishing his philosophy and preparing him for the complex design projects handled by his firm.
One of his first experiences at SEAS was the beginning of the year cookout held by the MLA department head that laid the framework for a strong sense of fellowship. He remembers the emphasis on collaboration and networking that was present during these first few moments, both of which have stayed with him to this day. During the rest of his time at SEAS, his appreciation for community engagement and landscape architecture continued to grow. Using what he learned from SEAS he led multidisciplinary design studios while teaching at the University of Florida in Gainesville and had a 6 year role on the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. His passion for creating spaces that could bring people together only grew over time and has manifested itself in the designing of parks and public spaces for people to share.
Ramon leads a small team focused on creating these collaborative outdoor spaces. Ramon has stated that he is most proud of the work his firm has designed for the City of Eustis, including a key central park space for East Eustis Community Redevelopment Area. Over the past decade, Murray Design Group has renovated and designed multiple parks for the city, one of these included a large-scale upgrade of Ferran Park where they incorporated a splash pad, seating, pavilions, signage, and improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation. He acknowledged that the “pandemic has proven even more how important outdoor space is to our quality of life and to witness the park goers enjoying spending the day with friends and family in a space you designed for that purpose is special.” The entire city of Eustis has benefited from the positive impact of the Murray Design Group and the environments they have created for everyone to share. Ramon’s efforts highlight the importance of collaborative design for communities and the difference that innovative landscape architecture can make.